In December, the Mets tossed around the idea of signing catcher Kelly Shoppach as a platoon partner for Josh Thole. They opted for Mike Nickeas instead. In July, with the non-waiver trade deadline approaching at the end of the month, the team again considered Shoppach — along with other righthanded hitters Ramon Hernandez, Geovany Soto and Kurt Suzuki — but stuck with Rob Johnson, who had replaced Nickeas.
On Tuesday, the Mets finally executed the move, getting Shoppach from Boston for a player to be named later. The 32-year-old hit .250 for the Red Sox, with five homers and 17 RBI. Shoppach will join the Mets Wednesday and platoon with the lefty-hitting Thole.
“This guy will bring some added power to the lineup,” Terry Collins said.
I think Sandy Alderson is doing the right thing by looking internally before needing to scour the market for pieces to this broken puzzle. But looking internally is not always equivalent to doing what’s necessary to give the team the best chance to win. If the talent is not there, it’s not there and you look elsewhere.
Mets do have some young pitching stars waiting in the wings, that we know. But catching? This has been a weak link since Paul LoDuca in 2007. Such as he did with relief pitching help that was desperately needed, Sandy once again was asleep at the wheels waiting too long to do something about it and taking action too late in the game.
We get it, this is now a 6-week test to see if Shoppach is serviceable to be here next season. But did anyone think the scrubby combination of Mike Nickeas or Rob Johnson would do anything to help the lack of a right handed batting threat to compliment the light hitting Josh Thole? Hopefully Sandy didn’t either or we have bigger issues than we thought.
Here’s the plug-n-play list of notable Mets catchers since having a respectable backstop in Paul LoDuca:
Henry Blanco (which we like given the short time here)
When will this team have a respectable catcher once again? Is Kelly Shoppach the answer? We will certainly find out.